Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Excuses for Not Being Organized

When I talk to people about organizing a lot of people tell me that they want to be organized but for one reason of another they just can't get organized.

They have ADD
Their spouse won't get on board with organizing their home
Their kids won't help with keeping the house neat and organized
Their parents never taught them how to be organized
Their parents were hoarders so they are hoarders
There isn't enough time in their schedule to get organized
They are overwhelmed
They don't think their messy house / room / office affects anyone else
Their disorganization doesn't really affect their job

and on .... and on ....

Excuse after excuse .....

But all they are doing is .... nothing....

So how can the problem ever change? It can't. But first they have to acknowledge that their disorganization is a problem. And that's the hardest step.

Yes, disorganization does affect your job. And your family. And your life.

So if you want to change, you can. I didn't say it would be easy. It won't be. It will feel very foreign for awhile. But as with any new habit it will eventually feel "routine". It will eventually start to be just a normal part of your every day life.

First you will start to pick up your clothes off of the floor and put them away in your closet. Then you might put the dishes in the dishwasher immediately after a meal instead of piling them on the kitchen counter and leaving them their for a week.

You might even go through your mail on a daily basis and through out all of the junk mail as soon as you get it.

Or you might do all of your filing on a weekly basis.

The next thing you know .... you are organized!

Watch out ..... it can happen to you.

All you have to do is stop making excuses ..... and start .... anywhere....

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Fun .... Get Organized and Have FUN !

It's summer. The kids are home from school and they are bored. What's a parent to do?

Plan things our course! But get the kids involved. Don't let them sit around and complain! If they want things to do then let them come up with ideas.

There are a lot of things that are available...all you have to do is find them. Take a look in the various newspapers and neighborhood magazines that are available. They usually list the upcoming activities for the summer. There are usually a lot of craft fairs and concerts and family events throughout the summer.

Have everyone in the family highlight all of the activities that sound interesting.

Then grab a calendar and write them on the calendar. This is really important because you won't remember them later in the summer.

Don't worry about having too many activities. Just because you write them down doesn't mean that you have to do them...but at least you will have options.

Add in some of the things that you have neglected over the years...such as visiting the museums or the Zoo or the beach. Or how about penciling in some visits with friends that you haven't had a chance to visit with in a long time.

How about exploring your own city? There are too many people out there that have never been more than an hour away from their own neighborhood. Be daring....explore your own state!

By taking some time in the beginning of the summer and planning your schedule you can have a fun and exciting summer even if you can't afford to get on a plane and fly off to another country for a vacation.

Stop complaining and create your own fun! With a little advanced planning and organizing you can have a great summer!

Enjoy !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 11, 2011

Multi-Tasking - Is is Productive ?

A lot of people think that they are more productive when they "multi-task". But are they really?

What exactly is "multi-tasking"? It is "doing more than one thing at a time". Sounds like an easy explanation. But it's not that straight forward.

Most people think of multi-tasking as doing something like driving a car and talking on the phone at the same time. Sounds like a productive thing to do. But it's dangerous. Which is why a lot of cities are making it illegal to talk on your cell phone while you drive. You can't pay attention to the road and all of the other drivers while you hold a conversation with someone else. At least not if you expect to be totally involved in that conversation.

How can you make important business decisions or give legal or medical advice when you are trying to watch the road?

The answer is " you can't ".

In this example, multi-tasking can be fatal.

But doing the laundry and watching T.V. are also examples of multi-tasking. And in this example it's O.K. to throw in a load of laundry and go back to your favorite T.V. show.

Or reading a book or checking your email while you are waiting at the car dealership to have your car worked on.

Or planning your day while you are on hold on the phone.

There are "active" and "inactive" types of multi-tasking. "Safe" and "dangerous".

If you need to have your mind present while you are doing an activity you cannot do more than one thing at a time. Because if you do you will not be productive at either task.

The time it takes you to move from one task back to another overrides the effectiveness of "multi-tasking".

It might seem like you are accomplishing more by trying to do two things at once, but you really aren't.

Being productive does not mean doing everything at the same time. It means planning your activities so that everything gets done and gets done well. Cramming a lot of things into your day does not mean that you are organized or productive.

You have to pick and choose what you can accomplish in a day. Be realistic. If something needs your undivided attention give it the time it needs. You will accomplish more by doing less in a day.

Being productive and being organized go hand in hand. Just be aware of what you can and cannot do at the same time. For safety reasons as well as for productivity reasons.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 4, 2011

Organizing to Leave for a Vacation

It's almost time for your vacation and you are already thinking about what to pack and what you are going to do when you get there. But have you thought about what you are going to come home to?

The reality is that coming home from a vacation is almost more stressful than leaving for one. You will have piles of laundry, mail, messages and a dirty house. Makes you not want to come home!

Before you leave for your vacation there are some things that you can do to make coming home more pleasant.

* Leave your house clean. I know that getting ready for a vacation isn't always easy and if you work full time you probably won't think about cleaning your house before you leave because you have too many things to do to get ready for the vacation. But, if you give your house a quick clean before you leave (put fresh sheets on the bed, vacuum, dust, start the dishwasher before you leave....) you will be much happier when you return. You will be walking into a clean house instead of a whirlwind of a disaster. And having fresh sheets on the bed when you are too tired from traveling to do it when you come home is worth the few minutes it takes to do it before you leave.

* Have a neighbor or friend stock your fridge with a few simple ingredients so that you have something to eat when you get home and before you have a chance to get to the grocery store. Some bread, lunch meat, eggs, milk .... will hold you over until you get a chance to get to the store. It's a small thing that really makes a difference. And I always appreciate my sister doing that for me.

* Get someone to cut your lawn and take care of your yard while you are gone. You don't want to come home to an overgrown yard.

* Make sure that your mail is stopped before you leave for your vacation.

* Change your email to say "on vacation" so that people will know that you are not avoiding them.

* Make a copy of your credit card numbers and leave a copy with someone you trust in case you lose your credit cards.

* Make sure that you leave your contact information and itinerary with someone you trust in case of emergency.

Thinking about what you will come home to when you are planning a vacation isn't a top priority for most people, but a little planning ahead will take the stress out of coming home.

Now go and enjoy your vacation !

Organizational Consulting Services

Fourth of July

Wishing you all a safe and Happy 4 th of July !